We live in a lovely community surrounded by trees and a variety of wildlife. It is a delight to watch them frolic on the sides of the road; to enjoy the deer and even the eagles and owls are beautiful to see.

This summer, some of the local wild life decided to move into our yard. A mama raccoon nested her kits under our deck. Raccoons are pretty to look at, but they are destructive and can be vicious when provoked. This mama insisted that she was going to come up on our deck to pilfer the bird seed from the feeders.

I understand the natural instinct of an animal to pursue easy food, but there is another detail you need for this story. We have a dog. A two year old Siberian Husky lives at our house. With our family, she is so gentle and loving. She cuddles and gives kisses. She plays and does tricks. She would make a terrible watch dog, as she would simply lick a burglar and beg for scratches.

However, she is a completely different doggy when it comes to a raccoon being up on the deck, near the entrance to her home. Over the summer, the raccoon would try to sneak up and steal the seeds and the dog would chase her away. One day, she brought her kits along to pillage my feeders and the dog caught one of them and killed it. We thought that the raccoons would be discouraged and find somewhere else to go, but they were back again the next day – and the dog killed another one. Over the weeks, the dog treed the raccoons (one for 13 hours) and woke us up many nights to alert us that the raccoons were back.

These raccoons were completely single minded. They snarled and growled and tried to fight with the dog; irrationally believing that they were strong enough to overpower her. The only thing that they could see was the bird seed. Once we realized that they were going to keep coming, we began bringing the seed inside at dusk, hoping that they would be deterred. Still they came to the deck, night after night, pursuing a prize that wasn’t even there.

How often are we like those raccoons? Persistently chasing after things that will only bring us a moment of pleasure – if we are even able to obtain them – and that we know will consistently cause us harm?

Proverbs 22:3 AND 27:12

The prudent sees danger and hides himself, bu the simple go on and suffer for it.

Proverbs 14:16

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

All around our yard are fruit trees, bushes and compost bins. Easy pickings for a raccoon, and yet they determined in their hearts to go after that which would bring them harm. They were stubborn and single minded in their quest to get what they wanted – regardless of the cost.

Proverbs 15:21

Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight.

Hosea 14:9

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.

Is there a feeder in your life that you continue to return to? Are you plagued with the consequences of determining to go your own way and yet still insist on doing your own thing?

Psalm 119:66

Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments.

Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Jame 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given him.

James 3:17

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Are you willing to evaluate the things you are chasing in this life, to ensure that you are being discerning and wise?

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